As Draymond Green has admitted, the Golden State Warriors don't like the Los Angeles Clippers. But they respect them.
And part of that respect, from Green, is for Clippers superstar Blake Griffin.
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The matchup between Green and Griffin is arguably the highlight of any Warriors-Clippers game. Stephen Curry vs. Chris Paul is obviously the glitzy matchup given their status as the game's two best point guards, but Green vs. Griffin is the heartbeat of the rivalry — one of the game's best defensive big men vs. one of its best offensive bigs, and two guys who can never seem to get along.
It's a challenge matching up with the bigger, stronger Griffin, but it's one Green relishes.
“When you get to play against a talent like Blake, of course it's fun because it's a challenge,” Green told the Bay Area News Group. “What can you do with that challenge?”
Green said he's been most impressed by Griffin's rapid development over the past couple years, which has included honing his jumper, refining his post moves, and expanding his ball-handling and passing skills.
“I'm not going to lie about it. My rookie year in the NBA, I was wondering if Blake would ever take that next step,” Green said. “Because it was like, OK, he's athletic, he's dunking the ball, he's had a few injuries. So if that athleticism is going to decrease, is he going to take that extra step to add more to his game or will he just always be the same? … And my, my, my. Over the course of those next three years, he took those steps.”
Now, Griffin's talent matches his athleticism, and Green has no choice but to admire that.
“He's playing phenomenal,” Green said. “He's shooting the basketball well. His 18-footer, I don't know what he's shooting it at, but whenever I play against him, he's hitting it at a consistent rate. He's also worked on his post moves, where it just used to be bully ball. It's not anymore, and that's what made him more dangerous.”